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Targeted quantum dot conjugates for siRNA delivery

Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Bioconjugate Chemistry (Impact Factor: 4.82). 09/2007; 18(5):1391-6. DOI: 10.1021/bc060367e
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Treatment of human diseases such as cancer generally involves the sequential use of diagnostic tools and therapeutic modalities. Multifunctional platforms combining therapeutic and diagnostic imaging functions in a single vehicle promise to change this paradigm. in particular, nanoparticle-based multifunctional platforms offer the potential to improve the pharmacokinetics of drug formulations, while providing attachment sites for diagnostic imaging and disease targeting features. We have applied these principles to the delivery of small interfering RNA (siRNA) therapeutics, where systemic delivery is hampered by rapid excretion and nontargeted tissue distribution. Using a PEGlyated quantum dot (QD) core as a scaffold, siRNA and tumor-homing peptides (F3) were conjugated to functional groups on the particle's surface. We found that the homing peptide was required for targeted internalization by tumor cells, and that siRNA cargo could be coattached without affecting the function of the peptide. Using an EGFP model system, the role of conjugation chemistry was investigated, with siRNA attached to the particle by disulfide cross-linkers showing greater silencing efficiency than when attached by a nonreducible thioether linkage. Since each particle contains a limited number of attachment sites, we further explored the tradeoff between number of F3 peptides and the number of siRNA per particle, leading to an optimized formulation. Delivery of these F3/siRNA-QDs to EGFP-transfected HeLa cells and release from their endosomal entrapment led to significant knockdown of EGFP signal. By designing the siRNA sequence against a therapeutic target (e.g., oncogene) instead of EGFP, this technology may be ultimately adapted to simultaneously treat and image metastatic cancer.

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    • "Typically, these approaches employ amine-[3] or thiol-modified [4] [5] siRNA at 3 or 5 ends of one strand of the siRNA duplex (see [6] for review of conjugation chemistry). Conjugations of siRNA to polyethylene glycol [5], quantum dots containing targeting moieties [4], cell penetrating peptides such as penetratin [7], and a range of lipophilic molecules, including cholesterol [8], have been demonstrated without a loss of silencing ability. "
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    ABSTRACT: Conjugation of siRNA to macromolecules such as serum albumin has multiple potential benefits, including enhanced extravasation via albumin-mediated transcytosis across endothelial cells and reduced renal clearance. In attempting to conjugate siRNA to albumin, we used commercially sourced amine-modified siRNA and reacted it with the heterobifunctional linker succinimidyl 4-[N-maleimidomethyl]cyclohexane-1-carboxylate (SMCC) to introduce a maleimide group suitable for conjugation to the thiol group of the surface-exposed cysteine residue (Cys 34) within albumin. We found the conjugation of the SMCC-treated siRNA to bovine serum albumin (BSA) to be very inefficient and investigated the cause of the low yield of conjugate. Ultrafiltration with phosphate-buffered saline prior to activation with SMCC dramatically increased the yield of siRNA-albumin conjugate (~15-fold). Communication with the commercial supplier revealed that ammonium acetate buffer was used in a desalting step as part of the siRNA purification process prior to supply, likely resulting in ammonium counterions to the siRNA polyanion, which would interfere with conjugation by consuming the SMCC. After ultrafiltration, a greatly reduced amount of SMCC could be used to affect conjugation, without significant reduction in yield. These data indicate that amine-modified siRNA sourced commercially may require ultrafiltration or dialysis prior to use in conjugation reactions.
    Journal of nucleic acids 05/2011; 2011:154609. DOI:10.4061/2011/154609
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    • "To overcome this delivery limitation, different strategies have been suggested to stabilize siRNA molecules during the delivery process, including chemical conjugation of siRNA to the non-viral delivery reagents using cleavable disulfide bonding [31] [32] [33]. Recently, stick small interference RNA (ssiRNA) has short complementary A(5–8)/ T(5–8)3′ overhangs, which can generate siRNA " look like a gene " by concatemerization, resulting in stick siRNA (ssiRNA), was also proposed as stabilized new siRNA molecules [29] [30] [34]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Small interfering RNA (siRNA) is a promising biological strategy for treatment of diverse diseases, but the therapeutic application of siRNA has been limited by its instability and poor cellular uptake efficiency. Although the development of various gene delivery systems has increased the siRNA delivery efficiency, many problems still remain to be resolved before the clinical application of siRNA. In this study, we suggest reducible polymerized siRNA a possible solution for low delivery efficiency of siRNA. Dithiol-modified red fluorescent protein (RFP) siRNAs at the 5'-ends of both sense and anti-sense strands were disulfide-polymerized. Polymerized siRNA (poly-siRNA) was composed of 30% oligomeric siRNA (50 approximately 300 bps) and 66% polymeric siRNA (above approximately 300 bps) as fractions, and was reducible in reducing solution through disulfide bond cleavage. Poly-siRNA formed more condensed and nano-sized complexes with low molecular weight polyethylenimine (PEI) by strong electrostatic interaction based on the higher charge density of poly-siRNA, compared with siRNA (mono-siRNA). The compact poly-siRNA/PEI complexes prevented the loss and degradation of siRNA from a polyanion competitor and RNases in serum. Furthermore, poly-siRNA/PEI complexes exhibited superior intracellular uptake by murine melanoma cells (B16F10), and was accompanied with RFP gene silencing efficiency of about 80%, compared to untreated cells. These results sufficiently support that strong polyanionic and reducible poly-siRNA can be utilized as a novel powerful therapeutic strategy for human diseases.
    Journal of Controlled Release 10/2009; 141(3):339-46. DOI:10.1016/j.jconrel.2009.10.007 · 7.26 Impact Factor
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    • "These properties make QDs ideal for use in biomedical applications, such as diagnostic imaging (Rhyner et al., 2006) or sentinel lymph node mapping (Ballou et al., 2007). QDs are also undergoing development as vectors for drug delivery (Derfus et al., 2007). These biomedical applications require that QDs have a high degree of biocompatibility. "
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    ABSTRACT: Quantum dots (QDs) are being investigated as novel in vivo imaging agents. The leaching of toxic metals from these QDs in biological systems is of great concern. This study compared the cytotoxic mechanisms of two QD species made of different core materials (cadmium selenide [CdSe] vs. indium gallium phosphide [InGaP]) but similar core sizes (5.1 vs. 3.7 nm) and surface compositions (both ZnS capped, lipid-coated and pegylated). The CdSe QD was found to be 10-fold more toxic to porcine renal proximal tubule cells (LLC-PK1) than the InGaP QD on a molar basis, as determined by MTT assay (48 h IC(50) 10nM for CdSe vs. 100nM for InGaP). Neither of the QD species induced appreciable oxidative stress, as determined by lipid peroxide and reduced glutathione content, suggesting that toxicity was not metal associated. In agreement, treatment of cells with CdSe QDs was not associated with changes in metallothionein-IA (MT-IA) gene expression or Cd-associated caspase 3 enzyme activation. By contrast, incubation of the LLC-PK1 cells with the InGaP QD resulted in a dramatic increase in MT-IA expression by 21- and 43-fold, at 8 and 24 h, respectively. The most remarkable finding was evidence of extensive autophagy in QD-treated cells, as determined by Lysotracker Red dye uptake, TEM, and LC3 immunobloting. Autophagy induction has also been described for other nanomaterials and may represent a common cellular response. These data suggest that QD cytotoxicity is dependent upon properties of the particle as a whole, and not exclusively the metal core materials.
    Toxicological Sciences 11/2008; 106(1):140-52. DOI:10.1093/toxsci/kfn137 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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